Whole Foods is in the middle of a rather significant public relations debacle, after allegations that two employees in an Albuquerque, N.M., store were disciplined for speaking Spanish on the job.
A source close to the health food behemoth says that high ranking individuals within the organization fear that this will lead to fewer Latino shoppers. Within the past few years, the store had experienced a surge in the number of Latino shoppers, going from five in 2008 to eight in 2012.
"We really don't want to squash that kind of unprecedented momentum. In fact, with our new Fiesta Friday promotion, we were hoping to get up in the double digits in 2013, but our target demo is Latinos who don't speak Spanish AND get offended when someone assumes they do."
The Daily Refried's very own El Guapo jumped in his trusty lowrider, Rosinante, and reached out to Latinos to see if this controversy would indeed affect their shopping habits:
"Whole Foods? The place with the $18 organic, artesian, gluten-free, cage-free sticks of gum? Yeah, no, this won't affect how frequently I go there."
"If I ask someone to help me find things like "nachos" or "tortillas," will they ask me to leave?"
"What the hell's polenta?"
Sylvia Lozano (employee):
"I just put this handy stick across my tongue to make sure I don't inadvertently roll my Rs."
Here's the venerable Newt Gingrich explaining that encouraging the use of Spanish -- "the language of living in a ghetto" -- has dire consequences. We can only assume he would give Whole Foods a big, greasy thumbs up:
Your handsome and humble servant-